Saturday, May 26, 2007

Personal Development: 1-2-3 Let Go!


I made a mistake in scheduling my trip and I need to leave Vancouver earlier. So, I am going to miss something important.

I tried everything I can do to make it right again, but unsuccessful. Then it's time to let go!

Tried my best and nothing worked, let go!

This simple 3-Steps Logic makes my life easier, much easier. Even it is your mistake, when you have done nearly everything to rectify but still unsuccessful, let go and give yourself an easier life.

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Portland - One of the Best Place to Live


This is my 2nd week of my holiday. I am leaving Portland today. In the past few days, I am staying in and enjoying very much this quiet beautiful city.

Portland is one of the Top 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S.

The city is very green. The people here are nice. Cost of living is low. There is no sales tax here. Public transportation is free of charge in the city centre area! There is lots of beautiful mountains and rivers in the surrounding area.

If you are planning your holiday, Portland can be one of your choices!

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Coaching: WABC Conference 2007


I am now in Vancouver attending the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches Conference. It is a truly international conference and WABC is a truly international organization.

You can find members from Canada, US, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, UK and of course Hong Kong attending the conference.

The advantage of going to an international conference is that you can gain varieties of viewpoints, which can enrich your understanding.

If you are a coach, or interest in coaching, I highly recommend the WABC!

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Business Development: Hong Kong is a Great Place to do Business


We are so lucky to live and work in Hong Kong.

It is a very, very great place to do business here. Just imagine, where on earth can you find a place where 7M people concentrating in such a small city?

Furthermore, most of these 7M people are having above average buying power!

With such a high concentration of great potential customers, marketing, selling, delivering, supporting are all super-easy!

Many people doing online business because they can only find such high concentration online. But we can do this physically!

But why are so many businesses failed? Do your observation and you will find the answers!

I am not that smart to discover how to run a successful business, but it is much easier to identify how a business fails.

3 Key Points!!!

What are these 3 Key Points? Guess first and I will discuss this in my next posting.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

NLP: Negative Resources


Another interesting discussion in NLP Class today.

If positive resources like confidence, happiness, calmness can create the respective positive states, then is the Negative States being created by Negative Resources?

According to NLP, the answer is no.

Negative States are created by lacking of Resources. A Sad State is not created by Sadness Resource, but by lacking the Happiness Resource.

However, no one know whether this is right or wrong. We can't physically locate any resources, both positive or negative. This is just a presupposition.

If something is a presupposition, whether we should believe in it or not depends on its usefulness.

If a negative state is created by a negative resource, we then need to remove the resource. But how?

If a negative state is created by lacking a positive resource, we can go and find that positive resource. Getting something is easier than Getting Rid of something.

NLP has its own ways to get those positive resources, like anchoring. We can also get it using many not very "NLP" means, for example, when you want to be happier, do something happy or recalling some happy memories.

Getting is easier than Getting Rid of. Do not agree? Think about your fat and body weight! (or there will also be another big business of gaining weight!)

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NLP: Too Confident?!


In today NLP Practitioner Training, we are discussing whether someone can be too confident.

In NLP, we believe that if we have the Resource of Confidence, we are in a Confident State. But can we have too much of the Resource of Confidence and making us becoming too confident?

Many people believe so. When we are over-confident, we can then be in trouble. The same reasoning applies to many of the positive states, like too happy or too curious.

So we do our best to stop from being too confident, too happy and too curious! The result is either we just can't stop it or we become not confident, not happy and not curious at all.

Can we have too much the Resource of Confidence?


The problem of Over-Confidence is NOT because of we are having too much Confidence, but because of the lacking some other useful Resources, like Observation and Self-Control.

We can be very confident, without overdoing anything, if we can also observe the situation and be self-controlled.

This is an example of More is Less. More of some other useful resources, then less the negative outcomes!

Be flexible, it is not a must that More is More or Less is Less.

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NLP: Useless NLP!


Many years ago when NLP is still new to Hong Kong, nobody claims NLP has magical power.

However in today, so many people are telling others about NLP's magical power in changing people. I have even heard someone saying just with a touch, he can make you fully filled with power by using NLP! (This makes me thinking of He-Man!) This is a problem.

Overstating the effectiveness might draw you more clients but it will hurt the goodwill of NLP. (Though NLP does not have much of it!)

Are NLP Skills Useful?

From my experience, many the so-called very effective NLP Skills can be quite useless with some people. Every skill has its limitation. It can be effective on someone does not guarantee its effectiveness on others. People are different. The classic Fast Phobia Cure and Swish Pattern of NLP can be useless with someone who are not very visual!

NLP is just one of the many choices you can use to help yourself or others. If it doesn't work, use something else!

Is the Effect of NLP Skills Long Term?

The effect might not be long term. Some NLP Skills are having long term effect while others having short term. It is not the former are better the latter. It is just because of their designs.

Skills affecting Filters (i.e. Belief, Value, Rule, Attitude) can be long term, and skills directing towards your Behaviours and Thoughts level can be just short term. But short term skills can be useful when you want an instant change of state.

For example, you are in a very bad mood, you dissociate and you get a short term relief. But if your Filters or your environment do not change, you can then easily swing back to the bad mood again. Another example: You are very angry and you are facing your naughty son. A simple Personal Editing Skill can make you into a temporary calmer state. Then you can talk with your son. These are just short term changes but they serves some purposes.

Effective is not Useful!

Even the NLP Skill is effective, it doesn't mean it is useful. For example, by using Logical Levels, you might be able to change some of your beliefs effectively. But the resulting beliefs can be even worse than the original ones.

Whether the change is smart or stupid depends on the quality of your information, knowledge and wisdom. A wise person, when using NLP can make wise changes and vice versa.

So, NLP is NOT an alternative to other forms of skills and knowledge. It is just a might-be-effective tool when use wisely. NLP can't make a person becoming master or guru. Wisdom can!

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Personal Development: Goals, Surrender and Release


One of our participants emailed me some good questions and she allows me to publish here:

1. 我上過你五堂的NLP簡介課程, 昨天, 又參加了你的 Round-Table講座, 印象中, 你一直強調發展的重要, 可是, 昨天講座完結前, 你又提出十五個簡約生活法, 包括減少期望和放棄目標, 這個, 跟不斷追求向上發展, 好像有矛盾。

They are not a paradox if you can understand it. Most of the people do not have a goal and do not know what they really want.

But some have too many goals or expectations. When goals and expectation become too many and are not well think-through, these goals and expectations turn into barriers to understand and work towards what they really want.

If you are clear about your goals and expectations, of course you do not need to reduce them. But if you are not, it can be a good idea to stop having any of them and start to define your own success. Go Back to Basic to start again is a great way to simplify one's life.

2. 是不是懂得「放手」, 重要過未經思考, 便跳進簡約生活? 我覺得, 如果心不平、心不靜, 無論你採用任何一種生活方式, 也會不斷給自己製造問題。

「放手」is admitting something that might not be able to change and there are facts of life. Then we change what we can change. Release those can't be changed and focus on those can!

3. 你昨天解釋 放棄 vs 放手, 我接收得不太清楚。我想, 「放棄」會不會是當事人在事情仍有迴旋的空間的時候, 當事人選擇不再付出努力, 是撒手不做也不理; 而「放手」, 則是事情已經完結, 完全不由當事人主動再去做些什麼, 這樣, 當事人唯有放手。

I had explained 放手 in Q2. 「放棄」 is surrendering. One who gives up before studying the situation clearly simply because the situation seems to be difficult. It is good to 「放手」. But 「放棄」 can be misleading.

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Hypnosis: Leading Suggestions (主觀引導暗示)


Yesterday we were doing the 2nd attempt of Practice Assessment for last year's Certified Hypnotherapist Program. One of our graduate assistants raised a good question and I like to discuss here. I added some more questions to make understanding easier.

How to define a Leading Suggestion?

Any suggestion, which contains a message the client has never said can be leading. There is a danger of leading the client believing something which does not actually exist or misleading the client to a conclusion that is not the intention of him/her.

Then, can we use Leading Suggestions?

I would say NO under any circumstance. This is the basic code of ethics of hypnotherapist.

But can we use Leading Questions to help clients to improve?

I would also say No. This is just as bad, or even worse than Leading Suggestions. You embedded the suggestions into a question. This enhances its effectiveness in misleading!

How about using Leading Questions to help clients to discover more?

Tricky question. Our standard questions of "Because...?" and "That is....?" are leading questions. ("Because" implies there is a reason and "That is" implies there is an alternative description or definition) If we are taught to use them, that means we can use them?

Yes, but with caution. It is OK to use some of the Context Leading Questions, but absolutely NOT OK to use Content Leading Questions.

Context Leading Questions are leading questions without content. The 2 examples above is Context Leading Questions. You just give a structure for the clients to think. This makes discovery easier.

Content Leading Questions are leading question with content. For example: "Can you just forget about it?" The content is "forgetting something". You indirectly suggest the client to do or believe something that he/she never told you.


Using Context Leading Questions to help clients to discover can be very effective. But if you are not sure about whether your questions are Context or Content Leading, don't use them. Using our 2 standard questions is more than enough in most cases.

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Coaching: The Origin of the A --> B Model


If you had attended any of my coaching program, I introduced you our universal model, the A --> B Model.

What is A --> B Model?

I started to teach this model since 2000 in my first coaching program. This is a simple model describing everything in the world:

1. You are now in A and you want to go to B. --> is the path of going from A to B.
2. A happens and it leads to B.
3. A happened and it leaded to B.

Misunderstanding of the Origin:

Some people think that this is "copied" from Albert Ellis's Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. That is the famous ABC Model. A is for Activating Experiences, such as family troubles and all the many things we point to as the sources of our unhappiness. B stands for Beliefs, especially the irrational, self-defeating beliefs that are the actual sources of our unhappiness. And C is for Consequences, the neurotic symptoms and negative emotions such as depression panic, and rage, that come from our beliefs.

I always copy beause I am a NLPer and we are good at modeling. But I do not copy from the ABC Model.

If you fully understand Ellis's ABC Model, you can easily see that the 2 models are totally different, though there are A and B in both models!!! Ellis's Model is about depression and negative emotions. A --> B is about life, current situation, intentions and possible paths. It is a planning model (coaching for actions) and understanding model (coaching for causes) when using in coaching.

Origin of A --> B Model:

Many had asked my the origin of this model. This is not a new model. Many coaches in the U.S. are using a similar model for years. But they have a different interpretation from mine.

Amercian people are generally very goal-oriented. When they coach, they usually start with setting goal, i.e. B. My understanding is that if we are not clear about where we currently are, i.e. A, our goals or expectations (B) can be just pipedreams or others' imposed goals. So we start with A.

Where do I get this idea?

I copied it from Logic. This is just a variation of the Cause & Effect Principle. Casues (A) always come before Effects (B). If we don't fully understand the Causes (A), we can't understand and change the Effects (B).

Then I enriched the model with different depths and perspectives to make it more usable in coaching.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hypnosis: What is Hypnotherapy?


Many people asked me the above question. If you like to read, you can always go to Hypnosis is about Change for more details.

Here is my briefest introduction of my understanding of hypnotherapy:

Hypnotherapy is NOT Psychotherapy. A hypnotherapist does NOT have the knowledge and skills to treat any psychological problems. A hypnotherapist is NOT a Medical Practitioner. A hypnotherapist does not know how to diagnose and treat physiological problems.

A responsible hypnotherapist only helps clients to improve themselves through adopting a better habit or behaviour.

A hypnotherapist put people in a very relaxed state. The process can be in form of relaxation and/or concentration. Then he/she can do 2 things to assist the clients to improve:

1. Tell to the clients what he/she wants to believe or act. For example, we can tell a dieting client to eat only 3 regular meals a day. Hypnotherapist call this Hypnotic Suggestion. When in this very relaxed state, people are less stubborn and are more willing to accept new ideas. This then makes Hypnotic Suggestions effective.

2. Ask clients non-leading questions to make the clients to think for solution of their problems. As mentioned above, people in this very relaxed state, they are less stubborn and are willing to search and consider new options.

So a hypnotherapist cannot do any miracle. The usefulness of hypnotherapy is also very limited. But if one's problem can be relieved through a new and better habit or behaviour, it might be useful.

Even under the above condition, hypnotherapy is not 100% effective. Some people can have really strong beliefs about his/her original behaviours. So, being a responsible hypnotherapist, we should advise his/her clients to seek other form of assistance when we find out that hypnotherapy is not effective to the clients.

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Announcement: 100% Satisfaction Policy


I like to inform you that no matter which program you are studying with me, we have a 100% Satisfaction Policy.

If you are not happy with the program, you can withdraw from the program at any time and get your full refund!

If St. James can't handle the refund, I will do it myself. I will pay you back out of my pocket.

I want you be able to learn and be happy. If you are not happy about the program, I can't keep your money.

If you have never attended any program from me, I strongly urge you to attend any of my free seminars offered throughout the year. My style is quite different and I am NOT a nice person. I am not a guru or a master and I am not a perfect person (to be more accurate, I am far, far from perfect). I am just an ordinary person like you and them.

My style is to use whatever (of course it must be legal!) to ensure participants understand and learn.

So, you might not prefer me as your trainer. You can always try me by attending my free program first before going for a paid program.

You can go to to check for any free and paid programs offered by me.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

2007 Prediction: 4-3-5


If you have attended my Prediction Seminar earlier this year, you will understand my 4-3-5 prediction for this year. That is, the middle 3 months, May, June & July might not be good for the stock market.

Don't trust me. Do your own homework!

This is just a reminder for you to to take good care of your investment.

From the record of past 10 years, May was a bad month in 7 years!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

The 5 Guideline for Professional Observer


Last week, I was teaching a course about Mystery Shopper in the new SGS Internal Auditor Program. I talked about the 5 major Guidelines for a good Mystery Shopper. A Mystery Shopper is someone who pretends to be a customer and observe objectively the service process.

A Mystery Shopper observes and report, while a Coach observes and inquire, a Facilitator observe and guide and a Salesperson observe and lead. We all observe and these 5 guidelines can also be applied.

1. See/Hear but No Feel. It is nothing about you. We only see and hear what's happening and our feeling is not important when observing objectively.

2. Yes/No but No Good/Bad. It is not our responsibility to judge what we observed. They is no good or bad, only yes or no - something has happened or not.

3. A Structure to Follow. There are so many things out there. If you don't have a structure to guide you to observe, you either observe nothing or too many things. Mystery Shopper has a well-designed survey form. Coach has Coaching Models and Facilitator has Principles.

4. Focus on what you are Observing. Don't try to see everything. We just can't. Recent research proved that multi-tasking is not really possible.

5. Things happen to You and to Others. Mystery Shopper observes both, while facilitator and coach focus on Others only. However, I always think that a truly objective Mystery Shopper should consider what happened to Others being more important to those happened to you. It is more objective!

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007








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